In a hope to get some positive support for the Indian outbound sector, the Outbound Tour Operators of India (OTOAI) today met with Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel to discuss the woes of the tourism sector. During the meeting, the Presidents of few leading Travel Trade Associations enumerated their demands to the Minister.
OTOAI, since long, has been advocating a five-point agenda, comprising - roll-back of the TCS, not make Pan Card mandatory for foreign remittances for foreign nationals and non-resident Indians, grant relief from GST, allow outbound tour operators to take interest-free loans and expansion of working capital.
“The Tourism Minister listened patiently to all that we had to say and was extremely sympathetic and understanding regarding all the issues. He has assured us that roll-back of TCS, not making pan card necessary for foreign remittances for foreign nationals and NRIs will be taken up with the government on priority. The honourable Minister is hopeful that all these discussions will have a positive outcome and that relief on these fronts will be announced soon. We are also keeping our fingers crossed for the same,” said Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI.
Some additional points which were discussed during the meeting were the possibility of introducing licensing requirement for operating travel and tourism business and about capital inducement for the MSME agents, which is currently only available for the existing customers who are availing overdraft or loan facilities. The Tourism Minister has assured us that he will look into these points as well.